Feature Jeff Mangum_Credit Corey Greenwell

Published on November 12th, 2012 | by Ballard Lesemann


Acclaimed Songwriter Jeff Mangum to Perform at the Charleston Music Hall

Big news for hardcore fans of experimental indie-pop group Neutral Milk Hotel: somewhat reclusive frontman Jeff Mangum recently announced a string of winter tour dates, and they include a stop at the Charleston Music Hall on Tuesday, January 29 at 7 p.m.

A native of the upstate town of Ruston, Louisiana, Mangum was a major player in the Elephant 6 musical collective based in Athens, Ga., alongside Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, the Gerbils, Of Montreal, and other like-minded acts, Neutral Milk Hotel explored the psychedelic corners of classic guitar pop. Mangum formed the group in the early 1990s as a trio before relocating from Ruston to Athens and enlisting multi-instrumentalists Scott Spillane, Jeremy Barnes, and Julian Koster, among others.

Neutral Milk Hotel made its first major splash on the indie/college radio scene with 1996’s elegantly orchestrated On Avery Island. 1998’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, their debut on Merge Records, was the second and final Neutral Milk Hotel full-length. A mix of solo acoustic guitar tunes and full-band arrangements, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is still heralded as one of Mangum’s masterpieces.

After massive touring behind In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk took a hiatus and Mangum retreated from the stage. He rarely performed through the 2000s, and his recording sessions were usually exotic and odd side sessions with friends and colleagues. He moved to New York and kept a low profile. However, in 2010, a collaboration with New Zealand pop songwriter Chris Knox kickstarted a new phase in Mangum’s musical career. He performed a handful of surprise shows, and took the stage at the All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival in New Jersey. He returned to All Tomorrow’s Parties the next year and performed at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival as well. Earlier this year, Mangum spent a month on the road as a solo act, traveling around the Midwest, up and down the East Coast, and in the U.K.

Mangum’s solo show at the Charleston Music Hall is solid for January 29 with support from N.Y.C.-based electro-folk act Tall Firs. Tickets for reserved seats will go on sale Thurs. Nov. 15 at 12 p.m. for $26 by phone at (800) 514-3849, online at etix.com, or directly through the Charleston Music Hall at charlestonmusichall.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Children of the Blue Sky organization.

Jeff Mangum Tour Dates:

  • Jan. 9 – Buffalo, NY, Asbury Hall at Babeville
  • Jan. 10 – Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Music Hall
  • Jan. 11 – Cleveland, OH, Ohio City Masonic Temple
  • Jan. 12 – Detroit, MI, Redford Theatre
  • Jan. 14 – Columbus, OH, Southern Theatre
  • Jan. 15 – Bloomington, IN, Buskirk-Chumley
  • Jan. 16 – St. Louis, MO, Sheldon Concert Hall
  • Jan. 18 – Lawrence, KS, Liberty Hall
  • Jan. 19 – Oklahoma City, OK, ACM at UCO – Performance Lab
  • Jan. 20 – Dallas, TX, Majestic Theater
  • Jan. 21 – Houston, TX, Cullen Theater at the Wortham Center
  • Jan. 23 – New Orleans, LA, One Eyed Jacks
  • Jan. 24 – Tallahassee, FL, The Moon
  • Jan. 25 – Gainesville, FL, Florida Theater
  • Jan. 26 – Orlando, FL, The Beacham
  • Jan. 28 – Augusta, GA, Sky City
  • Jan. 29 – Charleston, SC, Charleston Music Hall
  • Jan. 30 – Wilmington, NC, Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews
  • Jan. 31 – Charlotte, NC, Neighborhood Theatre
  • Feb. 1 – Knoxville, TN, Bijou Theatre
  • Feb. 2 – Asheville, NC, The Grey Eagle
  • Feb. 4 – Charlottesville, VA, Jefferson Theater
  • Feb. 5 – Wilmington, DE, Dupont Theatre
  • Feb. 6 – York, PA, Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center
  • Feb. 8 – Hartford, CT, The Great Hall in Union Station
  • Feb. 9 – Portland, ME, State Theater
  • Feb. 10 – Providence, RI, Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
  • Feb. 13 – Ithaca, NY, State Theatre
  • Feb. 14 – Clinton, NY, Hamilton College Chapel
  • Feb. 15 – Poughkeepsie, NY, Barvadon Opera House
  • Feb. 16 – North Adams, MA, MASS MoCA

Top photo by Corey Greenwell.



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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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